how long to prepare a 3 minutes freestyle?

Ok this question is NOT addressed to those who just make up their freestyle on the spot.

For those who work on their freestyles, prepare them, rehearse them, how long does it takes (to you as an individual, not “average”) to get ready for a 3 minutes freestyle competition?

what is the process behind it (again, for you, not “in general”) ?

I play for a little over one year now and I’m going to enter my first competition in late january, do you think I should start around now?

I work with a lot of artists who tour, theater troupes and other performance groups. One of the groups I work with can only rehearse on weekends, and the part that aggravates me is they only start like 6 weeks before the show and yet somehow they pull it together, yet, if they’d practice more on their own and in supervised groups(you need to have a director present to ensure you’re not rehearsing wrong and building improper memorizations that can be hard to break). Many bands who tour may be practicing for a month or two before a tour, but they are doing this anywhere from 5-7 days a week and for many, many hours a day to refine a show. The music tends to be mostly solid already, it’s a matter of the SHOW. Broadway shows may rehearse for up to a year before opening the door for a soft opening.

So, my concept is simple: MORE.

More practice is a good thing. In the case of those who video themselves, they can do that as well and further refine and perfect their routine or see what is or isn’t working Any tool that you can use to help yourself is a good thing. Time is precious so don’t waste it. I’d say go ahead and start now. Why not even write it down. Write down the order you want to do things and be as specific as possible, including when to bring it back, turn, move(and how much), pauses and the like. See how it works out. Try it and change as necessary. Work with a timer, pick out your music ASAP or have something custom done. Make your edit and pump it into your iPod or whatever, but keep in mind it WILL sound different coming from the mains AND/or floor monitors or sidefills than your iPod.

The only thing I can say is to break anything that isn’t working for you fast so you don’t retain a memory of it. Less “unlearning” to do later on. Watch videos of past events if you can and see what they did and how they did to see where you might need to be in order to have a fighting chance. Of course, first competitions isn’t about the win, it’s about self-measuring against others. Of course, a win would be great too.

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You and me are doing kinda the same thing, I have been playing for about 1 year and 8 months and I think that it is time that I got into competitons as well. I am working on my routine by learning one trick (or three) a day. Then putting them in a way that they flow, and that they go with the music that I will use. It definitly is not an easy process.

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yeah, I’d probably start working on it now. It took me like 2 or 3 weeks to get a 1 minute freestyle down.

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dude it took me forever just to prepare for a talent show… so i would start working on it now

Decide what kind of tricks/style you want to bring into your competition

find a song that you like that fits your ‘theme’. I was reading and article about yoyo competitions and it said judges take the ‘theme’ into consideration. Jensen kimmit in 2011 WYYC had a very noticeable theme.

weave all the tricks into your song, make sure everything fits smoothly and in sync.

rehearse this for 10k hours.

Another tip is judges take ‘risk’ into consideration. Marcos koh did a ton of risky tricks in his 2011 WYYC performance and it paid off except for the time he dropped a GT and he got a knot in his yoyo. switching yoyos cost you a lot of points
Judges also take gesticulations into considerations. If you just stand in one place cranking out tricks you wont get as many points than if you move or ‘dance’ with the tricks. Gentry stein makes the camera man have to work to keep up with his movements and thats what judges like.

These are just some things i read about. Good luck!

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Alright, thanks a lot, it seems like I’m going to have my hands full for the next months or so.

So to sum up

  1. come up with a song (that I’ll be able to listen to everyday for 3 months, repetitively)
  2. come up with tricks and combos in order to fit the song (sync)
  3. eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, twice on sundays
  4. hope for the best

that sounds good.

except to the fact that, since I’m still a beginner, I’m coming up with new tricks all the time and I will want to integrate them in the routine. the problem is, between being able to do a trick and being able to integrate it smoothly in a combo, there are usually months of practice for me.

Here’s what I thought, regarding on your advices.

I come up with a barebone, general and simplified idea of the freestyle and get the general motion down. Once this is down, I’ll try to add more difficult and also more meaningful elements at key points throughout the song.
rehearse and then some more.

I’ll probably leave out the whole “dancing around” stuff, I’m not doing this to win it, but I want to figure out where I stand, so I don’t want it to be ruined because I came there unprepared.

thanks a lot for your advice, it’s really appreciated

Don’t focus too much on your moving around. The routine and the music will guide you. Don’t fight it and you’ll be fine. You’re not after “choreography”, you’re after “natural”. If it feels right, it is right.

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